Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Have You Visited an Ancestral Town?

I love the topic of Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun this week! I have warm memories of a special day in May 2013 when we were in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Copenhagen is an ancestral town for me, but my goal was to get to Öved, Sweden, which is in the southern part of Sweden. Nothing separated me from Öved except for a long bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden.

Dave and I looked into renting a car for a day before we left home. However, the cost was going to be exorbitant – close to $400 U.S. – plus gas plus the $65 or so for the toll crossing the bridge.

I belonged to the Danish-American Genealogy Group on Facebook so I decided to ask if anyone in Denmark could recommend a driver who charged a reasonable fee who would be willing to take us to Sweden for the day.

In less than ten minutes time, a wonderful lady named Lissa replied. She lived just outside Copenhagen, had a car,  and said if we paid for her gas and the toll, she would love to spend the day with us in Sweden! I was so excited, I could hardly contain myself. We accepted her offer immediately and when the big day came, she picked us up at the front door of our hotel and off we went.

It took just over an hour to arrive at the tiny village of Öved, home of my 3X great grandmother, Johanne Elisabeth Molin, who left Sweden for a better life in Denmark in 1839.

I have to say crossing from Denmark to Sweden was the easiest border crossing I’ve ever done. A customs official said hello, Lissa explained to him in Danish that we were visiting for the day and heading to Öved. He told us to have a nice day, in Swedish, and neither Dave nor I said a word.

We continued on our way through the Swedish countryside, which was gorgeous. It was sunny and warm – maybe 70-ish – and the green fields had lots of beautiful wildflowers blooming.

(Note: All photos taken by Dave Stufflebean)

When we reached Öved, we found the little church and it was open:

It is the same building standing as when Johanne was baptized there in 1814!

We saw the old manor house, which today is home to a commune:

This was our view of Öved’s fields:

On the way back to Denmark, we stopped at one of Sweden’s national parks:

We drove back to Denmark by traveling north to Helsingborg, Sweden to catch the car ferry to Helsingor, Denmark:

Lissa then drove us down the coast back into Copenhagen and our hotel.

This was one of the most memorable days of my life. Back in the 1980s, I never dreamed that I would crack my Danish-Swedish brick wall wide open AND that one day in the future, I would not only visit the family’s home in Copenhagen, I would have the opportunity to visit the Molin ancestral village (they were there by 1776) on the same trip.

I will forever be grateful to Lissa for making it all possible.

 

One thought on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Have You Visited an Ancestral Town?”

  1. Linda, what an amazing experience and gorgeous photos. I wouldn’t have thought to put the request to an online group for an in-country drive, but so smart. I’ll have to keep that in mind for future overseas family history travel.

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